The author and chef did get a lot of things right with this book: the difficulty of transitioning a family into a vegan diet, defending the switch to others, supplements that may be needed, ease of preparation, etc. The language is clear and the presentation brief but informative. The recipes are nicely laid out and easy to follow. But this is a plan that, although touted as something that can be transitioned into in stages, in reality will require major changes or a lot of food items will be wasted. E.g., meals call for several different ingredients that may need to be prepared separately and used in a variety of dishes. If you don’t use the plan, then you will have too much/wasted ingredients (like marinara sauces, etc.).
In trying the recipes, they are very easy to prepare and do taste quite good. There’s nothing really exotic here – just variations on things such as baked ziti or chocolate pancakes. Bad ingredients aren’t necessarily imitated so much as replaced, so it is about training young taste buds toward healthier foods. But there aren’t really any recipes in here that would frustrate or deter little ones from eating.
The book covers recommendations from pregnancy to teen years but the focus is on the elementary school age kids. Ideas for dealing with birthday parties, Disneyland trips, etc. are nicely covered with smart ideas. There are also many testimonials at the end of each chapter with individuals talking about their success stories with their own families. I found those the least interesting, though, since it was a bit to ‘rah rah’ preaching to the choir in my opinion.
In all, the recipes are quite good and there is good advice to be found here. The writing isn’t preachy and neither the author nor the chef come across as zealots who don’t understand real-world concerns of the average family and what they would have to go through in order to transition to a plant-based diet. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.